The Outlook

NMSP Recognizes Commended Seniors

Vanessa Zuleta

Tyler Bollinger, Staff Writer

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After taking the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), seniors Lukengu Tshiteya and Jemima Oluwagbemiga were recognized as commended students in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

“I take (it) pretty seriously because I’m trying to score as high as possible,” Tshiteya said. “The colleges I’m looking at are pretty hard to get into.”

Tshiteya said he had higher hopes for himself.

“It’s great that I am recognized for the top 50,000, but I was actually looking to be in the top 15,000,” he said. “In the end, it’s always great to be recognized.”

Also, seniors Jonathan Garza, Alfredo Rendon and Izaac Zamora were acknowledged for their performances on the PSAT/NMSQT through the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program.

“The distinction comes from the fact that you fill out questionnaires,” Rendon said. “These qualities that (they) have, like maintaining a certain level of GPA and having parents who are Hispanic are all things that go into it. If you strive to succeed academically then you’re for sure going to get in.”

Rendon had studied independently for the test.

“Everything I did to get ready for the PSAT was my own work,” Rendon said. “It was a lot of finding your own strengths and weaknesses. From there knowing where you can work at and where you could improve upon.”

Those who had the top 60 highest scores on campus for the PSAT their sophomore year were invited the following year to join the PSAT/SAT prep course.

“The students that are in the class and work hard have a tremendous increase (in scores),” PSAT/SAT prep teacher Erica Marburger said. “When you are invited to the team it really behooves you to try to do well. Even though some may not get the scholarships, these commended students will probably end up getting higher SAT scores which will open them up to more opportunities.”

In the class, students learn SAT skills and take practice tests.

“This is all based off of the PSAT and a lot of people don’t really see that as a big deal, they see it as just practice for the SAT, but it’s really important because this can really help out,” Garza said.

Tshiteya said that he appreciates the help of his teachers.

“Mrs. Marburger and Mrs. (Nicole) Collins really helped me out a lot,” he said. “They were the two people who were right next to me while we were we taking the class and taking the tests. They guided me throughout the process.”

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NMSP Recognizes Commended Seniors